The Toyota Highlander has always held a soft spot in my heart. Proud and solidly under 5-feet tall, this SUV is the fits me to a ‘t.’ Much like the ‘just-right’ part of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears, this Highlander Limited Platinum V6 FWD is equally easy on the eyes as it is to navigate. As soon as the Highlander comes into frame, a smile is permanently placed on my face. This Platinum package brings about a broad and expressive front grille draws the eye in as the flowing body lines continue up and over the Panoramic Moonroof to the rear fascias and spoiler. Cool features like body-colored door handles, Adjustable Power Liftgate, illuminating Smoked Chrome Auto On/Off Headlights and Fog Lights and an integrated rear spoiler bring out the subtle elegance of this SUV. The laid-back, appealing style and design of the Highlander continue to be effortless and fluid. Feelings of comfort and luxury are perfectly woven into the DNA of the Highlander. It’s like that little black dress accented by a diamond necklace or cute denim jacket; classic by design, but easily dressed up or down…based on the trim level.
Aided by a 3.5-Liter, V6 Engine with Dual VVT-i and paired with a Direct Shift 8-Speed Automatic Transmission, the Highlander whips around corners while sitting on 19″ Chrometec wheels. While it’s not a Crossover it definitely is agile like one. Powered by Front Independent McPherson Strut and Rear Double Wishbone Suspension, this Highlander is extremely easy to navigate. Fluid engagement via Power-Assisted 4-Wheel Disc Brakes and Hill-Start (HAC) was a welcomed experience. Additionally, the HAC really came in handy on the steep incline at Sunset and LaCienega with virtually no rollback. Another sweet spot is the MPG. A combined 23-MPG (21-City and 27-Hwy) won’t stress you out at the pump. Not the best…but by far not the worst. The standard Stop and Start Engine System (S&S) when engaged can save you some coins at the pump.
Equally as impressive as the exterior, the interior radiates a sense style and sophistication. This 7-seater comes with 8-way Power Memory Driver’s seat with Lumbar Support, 4-way passenger seats, 2nd Row Captain Seats and a cool 3rd Row seat with a 60/40 Split Fold-Flat Reclining Seats.
The ‘floating’ dash was a cute design element. The seating/storage configuration is ideal for the family on-the-go or the savvy shopper with a Flea Market addiction.
The Platinum Package adds to the sophistication factor with a Panoramic Moonroof, Heated Steering Wheel, Perforated Leather Heated 2nd Row Outboard Seats, Rain Sensing Windshield Wipers, Rear Bumper Protector and a Towing Receiver Hitch with Wiring Harness.
Sexy tech features like the Bird’s Eye View Monitor, Back-Up Camera, 8-inch Display and Rear Parking Sonar (really accurate in parking with little to no illumination) just added to the overall incredible experience in the Highlander.
For the audiophile in me, the banging Entune Premium JBL Sound System with NAV/AM/FM/CD/MP3/USB/AUX/HD/SIRIUSXM offered up audible heaven no matter what was played. Everything from Coltrane to Kendrick Lamar wafted through the inner cabin in near studio quality sound. Additionally, in a world where EVERYONE is tethered to their devices, the Highlander is fitted with 5 USB ports (3 in the front and 2 in the second row), so connectivity and charging is at a premium.
A proud recipient of a 5-Star Government Safety Rating, the Highlander is one of the most safest SUV in its segment. Toyota’s Safety Sense P (TSS-P) includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCD w/PD). I can’t tell you how cool this feature is. On one occasion a person transfixed on their cellphone walked right into traffic on my green light, while I did see them, the assisted braking sprung into action. The “P” package is also full of other preventative features like Lane Departure Alerts with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Auto High Beams (AHB) and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). The (LDA/SA) acts as co-pilot of sorts. In the event of lane swaying or lane departure, these features activate to either alert you, check on you and ultimately assist you in correcting your driving. Filled with the standard suite of airbags, the Highlander Limited Platinum V6 has all the bases covered.
Nicely Equipped for $46,932